“Parenting”

The Latest on Zika

I’ve been talking a LOT on Zika – and the info at times seems like a moving target.  I caught up with the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to get their take on how to protect ourselves.  To learn what I learned, read below, and watch my latest Facebook Live session with Sharecare, where I answered more Qs. Want more info? Facebook Live sessions are every Tuesday at 2pm – and as long as I’m getting Zika questions, I’ll be answering them! Check out Sharecare’s Facebook page (or my own) to see them there!

Some new info:

  • What’s the risk to infants and children infected after birth? While those infected as infants (after the neonatal period) or young children would typically get the rash, joint pain, fever, and eye redness that is the acute Zika infection, the CDC doesn’t have any evidence that they’d develop any brain or nerve abnormalities. In fact, children are at even lower risk of developing Guillain-Barre Syndrome. That said, they say they’ll “continue to monitor”, and to date cannot comment on the long-term effects. (Yes, my reaction, like yours was “Yay…I guess?”.  Read MORE here.

 

 

Crib Bumpers Continue to Cause Increase in Infant Deaths

A new study from The Journal of Pediatrics has revealed a jump in infant deaths due to crib bumpers – those pads that are wrapped inside a crib.  They’re marketed as keeping baby safe from hitting the crib slats, or getting an arm or leg caught between them.  The reality?  Researchers attributed 77 infant deaths to them from 2008-2011 — and think the actual number is much higher.

Both the thick/plush and thin (touted as being “safer”) bumpers were associated with infant death and injuries – proving that there is no such thing as a “safe” bumper.

I remember when I was shopping for my own baby – the bumper and sheet sets were so cute – polka dots and stripes! Plus I got a hard sell from the bedding salespeople about the importance of bumpers for my baby’s safety, how the thin ones were so safe, and why they were necessary for the perfect nursery.  I’ll admit it was tempting! But, I knew the dangers and didn’t get them – yet often see them in cribs of my friend’s infants.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, CDC, and the NIH all recommend against using bumpers in the crib.  Crib bedding manufacturers recommend using them.  Who are you going to believe for your child’s safety?

Study: NJ Scheers, Dean W. Woodard, Bradley T. Thach. Crib Bumpers Continue to Cause Infant Deaths: A Need for a New Preventive Approach. The Journal of Pediatrics, 2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.10.050

Busy Woman’s Guide: Germs You Don’t Need to Worry About

Things my toddler put in her mouth this week:
– the dog’s soccer ball
– her foot (how does she even DO that)
– a cracker that fell on the kitchen floor (hey, it was cleaned that week…)
All in the name of a strong immune system, I say. Germs are everywhere, and at last check, wrapping a bubble around your child isn’t feasible. The fact is children depend on exposure to some germs for immune system development. But there are bugs like the flu, MRSA and C. difficile which you do want to avoid. So, when can you “5 Second Rule” it and when does your child need a full-scale hose-down (or at least a thorough washing of hands)?
Don’t Worry
While I don’t recommend seeking out exposures simply for the sake of reducing allergies, you needn’t run for the sterilizer in these cases: